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What would you like to see happen to Colt?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Kynoch, Nov 16, 2014.

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  1. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    They need to restructure under bankruptcy, using that to get out from under Union contracts and existing debts. Complete the move to FL and get out from under high state taxes. With their investment a few years ago in CAD/CAM technology, they are now building the best pistols they ever have. Yeah, they still use some of the 30s era milling machines for certain operations they are better suited for, but their new processes are better than ever. They are easily the equal or better than their mainstream competition like Kimber, Springfield et al. If they fired up their Custom Shop, they could easily compete with Wilson, NHC, Baer.
    There's currently something like 180 companies making ARs. If the current slow down in sales continues, I'm hearing there will probably be 20 left in 2-3 years. Colt should be one of those based on their quality. I hope they come out with a DA revolver again, as Snubbies are really popular for carry. Give up the pipe dream, the Python is never coming back.
     
  2. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    What I would like to happen to Colt: ever person in the USA of legal age and etc. to buy a Colt gun. Two purposes would be served immediately: an influx of money into Colt (hope they'd handle it wisely) and gun ownership and usage (responsible only) would increase.

    Of course that would hopefully also increase sales of ammunition, components, range and club memberships, hunting, shooting accessories and etc.
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    As a sidelight:

    Colt's problem is too much dept and not enough income to service it. On the other hand a competitor, Sturm-Ruger has zero corporate dept - and this has been true since the company was founded. It wasn't easy but they funded operations and expansion with income, not borrowed capital.

    This is unusual in the firearms industry as well as most others. Bill Ruger Sr. and his successors accomplished it by constantly introducing new products that the market found attractive.

    Unfortunately Colt has been burdened with brain-dead management since the end of World War Two. Very few (maybe none) of the top decision makers knew or really know zip about handguns or handgun manufacturing and marketing. They bet that the name would insure large sales. It didn't, and this present situation is the result.
     
  4. Thermactor

    Thermactor member

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    redacted
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  5. C.R.

    C.R. Member

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    It would be interisting to know if the upper management got huge bonuses while running the Colt company into the ground . Blame those lazy, filthy ,overpaid, union thugs, if you feel you have to,BUT the werent the ones that blew it, management counted on fat govt. contracts and that alone is not enough to keep the doors open.
     
  6. Gaffer

    Gaffer Member

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    The first and most important thing is to leave Connecticut. They are anti-gun and need to learn that such stances have a cost.

    The second is to go belly up. Rid themselves of the costly upper management and excessive union contracts and start over with a clean slate. The Colt name and product are good enough that they can rebuild if they keep the quality as it should be.

    Just leaving Connecticut and those greedy hanger-ons should be enough to see that once fine product be successful again.
     
  7. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    I find that union blaming is still very easy for most non union employees. Unions, UAW in particular (and for the life of me I don't understand why the UAW was involved with Colt) has restructured their policies to be more favorable to corporations. There was a long time where unions were pretty useless, and got lazy, fat and bored, which turned them corrupt. Them being the union management, not the rank and file worker (although they do exists, too). Long gone are the days of the 50 year old janitor making $40 an hour because he started at the company at 15 years old. Wage caps exist, although still a bit high for unskilled labor.

    In my own company, a UAW shop, management is horrendous and I sometimes wonder how they keep the doors open. Management loses contracts, not the union. Management squanders capitol on frivolous nonsense to impress corporate, not the union. The union exists to protect the workers from heartless corporatists who would still walk away with fat bonuses after running the company into the ground. If the union somehow lost a contract worth 30% of their annual revenue changes would be made immediately. Management does it, they get a slap on the wrist from corporate and infused with gobs of cash to keep the doors open (and lay off a few dozen union employees to boot). Tough trade off, I know.

    Anyway, yeah, blame the union if you must, and be thankful you live in a state and work for a company where you can be fired at will for idiotic reasons like 'personality differences.'

    I've worked for companies run by idiots as a non union labor, and there was always the shadow looming over. Now that I'm working for a union shop, that fear isn't there, and I actually look forward to going to work. Still work for a company run by idiots, though.

    But anyhow, I doubt the union had much, if anything, to due with the latest down fall of Colt.
     
  8. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Colt has been on a downhill slide for decades. Colt has been very poorly managed, too dependent on government contracts and living on their legend alone. From what I can tell, changes made in the last several years have vastly improved their handguns. Their SAA's and 1911's are as good as they've been in a long time. Or better. So they have something to build on. The brand still has value. I would be shocked if they were not bought by somebody and Ruger is a good example of a properly run business that 'may' take an interest.

    Colt has to move. Union guys can say what they want but unions are mostly unnecessary and potentially harmful. The union IS part of Colt's problem. All of Hartford is in decline. We took a trip through their last month and much of their historical areas are turning to ghetto. I was afraid to get out of the car to take pictures of the historic home that Sam Colt built, Armsmear, as well as the old factory. They need to start fresh somewhere else.

    They have to be innovative. There's too much competition for any company to sit back and ride the coat tails of their history.

    They have to maintain a high level of quality. Nobody wants to see budget priced guns with the Colt name.

    They have to remain "Colt". Their products have to remain distinctive and not look like something that's been rebadged.
     
  9. nathan

    nathan Member

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    If no American company buys them out, then European and Chinese investors are just waiting to scoop them up. They are on a string ready to break. It could be before the year ends . Now 2015 looks bleak as well.
     
  10. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Colt had been mismanaged for decades.

    Presently Colt is worth a minus 300 million dollars. The company has about 10 million dollars in working capital and few firm contracts.

    Corporate owners and managers took hundreds of millions in "distributions" and "advisory fees" while simultaneously borrowing money to keep the company afloat. Now its crashing down around their heads.

    http://www.businessweek.com/article...ers-owners-have-led-it-to-crisis-after-crisis

    The fact that Colt was in dire financial straits did not inhibit their award of huge bonuses to corporate officers:

    http://www.last10k.com/sec-filings/ticker/0001508677/0001104659-14-066180.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  11. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Its always the top few who knows and handles the budget that gets the cake. Just like the saying, the top 1 % takes it all. If only theres a benevolent savior to all of this, then Colt can keep its head above water .
     
  12. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Colt; Kissimmee Florida....

    Colt should severe all ties to the site in central Florida, Osceola County.
    It sounds like they either won't use or don't need the new plant so they should just pay the fines/fees then let the state of Florida/local governments get it back.

    Rusty
     
  13. nathan

    nathan Member

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    They are in deep, deep trouble down under. NO way to save this crash...
     
  14. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    i would like to see Colt survive but with new owners. IMO that is unlikely to happen. Colt will probably join other once great companies in the dust bin of history.
     
  15. gbw

    gbw Member

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    Colt has been mis-managed for decades. Don't blame the union, they get nothing management doesn't agree to one way or another.

    Decades ago when 'combat' shooting become popular, Colt was in a unique position to both provide for their customers and benefit their company.

    Instead they ignored a large, highly profitable market. Entire companies formed to fill the voids demanding updated guns, custom parts, services and accessories that Colt management couldn't bother about. When they finally did come around it was half-hearted, poorly executed, and highly overpriced.

    Same story somewhat later with AR-16 and deviants. They ignored hugely profitable markets begging for products and services which they were perfectly positioned to provide.

    I don't know anything about their military operations but I'd suspect, given their poor overall management, the story is probably similar.

    They will probably fail. Based on the managers and their decisions over the past 40 years, deservedly so.
     
  16. george burns

    george burns Member

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    This is a perfect scenario for a Warren Buffett. But any good old American Company like my uncle's beloved Eastern Airlines,, "he was Operations manager, can't compete with the Legacy costs from 30-50 years of mounting debt in the form of employee benefits, pensions, IRA's tax problems , and an ever increasing amount of company's who can put out a similar product with none of these costs, thus offering a cheaper gun that does a similar job. The unions are good and bad. Once they gat past the realistic point of paying out so much money in retirement benefits, pensions etc, they can't produce a product cheap enough to compete with Chinese or Korean wage earners, or even American company's , similar to what "Jet Blue, did to the airline industry". That's what happens to us since this NAPTHA, and other restrictions were lifted allowing free trade and corrupt patent stealing Chinese and others to come in and rape our country of our creative ideas, and build them for half the price.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  17. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    They should split the company - let Tony Galazan at Ct Shotgun Mfg take the SA market
    Let Beretta or FN take the military rifle part
    The rest can just go away
     
  18. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    That's not true. They have valuable model names like "Peacemaker."
     
  19. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    Ruger never had access to cheap capital back in the day. Today, gun makers are looked upon by lending institutions as risky.
     
  20. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    By far the first and most important thing is for them not to default on their loans. If they can't do that then they're done.

    They don't have the $$$ to leave CT.
     
  21. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    bill ruger never borrowed a penny . I read all about the company when he died
     
  22. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    A nail in the coffin....

    When the DoD/US armed forces went looking for a new rifle, none of the contract entries would meet all the T&E requirements. :uhoh:
    This included Colt.
    Colt & Colt Defense really messed up since the 1980/early 1990s. They cut the Python .357 & .44/.38spl lines of premium DA revolvers then fell face first with the pathetic Colt All American 2000 9mm(a modular DAO pistol that wasn't polymer or well made).
    The line of 1911s sold well but the glut of clones/copies really made Colt suffer.

    I doubt Colt will remain & if it does get sold it will be a has-been, sad firm no one really buys. Like how Kahr Arms got Thompson & Auto-Ordinance. :(
     
  23. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    That's really the gist of it. If someone actually buys Colt that debt will continue to be a killer. It would have to be bought at a deep discount through bankruptcy or outside of bankruptcy with the cooperation of its lenders -- some which would not doubt be willing to accept dimes on the dollar, rather than nothing at all.

    The very best thing would be if a legitimate manufacturer bought the assets (and not the baggage) of Colt at a financially serviceable price.
     
  24. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    True, but later when they did they continued to avoid dept and borrowed capital. There was never a day when a business reverse would kill the company and put them under because of excessive borrowing. In short, Bill Ruger Sr. and his management team, and those that continued afterwards, were and are the exact opposite from those at Colt.

    Now look at the situation and differences between management styles between these two companies.
     
  25. nathan

    nathan Member

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    If Warren Buffet comes to the rescue, they can move the whole manufacturing in Omaha, NE. New Colt s will have the Omaha, NE on the side frame.
     
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